A Culinary Rainbow

Sequence of Activities:

Introduction (10 minutes)

Do a go-around. Ask each student to share their favorite color, and invite them to respond in any language they choose.

Green is a Chile Pepper (20 minutes)

Read Green is a Chile Pepper (or show the read-a-long video).

Write each of the three “pull out” poems (below) on the board, one at a time. Ask everyone to stand up and do an “I read, you read” with each poem. Ask what the different food items mentioned in the poems are. Have the students look carefully at the photos and describe other things—especially foods—they know of that are those colors.  

Red is a ristra.
Red is a spice.
Red is our salsa
on top of rice.

Yellow is masa
we use to make
tortillas, tamales, and
sweet corn cake!

Green is a chile pepper,
spicy and hot.
Green is cilantro,
inside our pot.

Group Poem (20 minutes)

Write out the group poem template (below) ahead of time on a giant post-it note or on the board. For each color, ask the students to share something that is that color, using as many details as possible and inviting them to respond in any language that they choose. Accept multiple answers for each line so that every student who wants a chance to contribute gets one.

Red/Rojo is:
Orange/Naranja is:
Yellow/Amarillo is:
Green/Verde is:
Blue/Azul is:
Purple/Púrpura is:
Pink/Rosa is:
Brown/Marrón is:
White/Blanco is:
The world is a rainbow of/El mundo es un arco iris:

This is the poem my second-grade students wrote together:

Rojo is quesadilla hot sauce
after “Red is a chile pepper”

Rojo is quesadilla hot sauce that tastes like jalapeño
Orange is a fresh orange from Tía Maggie’s orange tree
Amarillo is mac n’ cheese that tastes cheesy and my whole family makes for me for breakfast
Green is a lime that you put on a carne asada taco
Azul is blueberries I eat with strawberry yogurt, waffles, and pancakes
Purple es uvas, they’re juicy and my grandma makes them fresh
Rosa es fresas y limonada cuando no tengo escuela
Brown is chocolate like Kit Kats, Hershey’s, chocolate syrup, Milky Ways, and Snickers
Blanco is the inside of a banana and the clouds I eat on a high mountain
El mundo es un arco iris that’s red orange yellow blue and purple, and it makes us feel happy!

Do an “I read, you read” of the group poem, then act it out!

Extension activity: If there’s time, ask the students to pick one color and write their own one-line poem describing a food that is that color. If markers or crayons are available, they can write their poem in a color that corresponds to the one they’re writing about!





To practice collaborative writing, using detailed language, and making connections between different categories of objects

Education Level: 





Lesson Plan

Time Frame: 

50-60 minutes

Prior Knowledge/Skills: 


Required Materials: 

Green is a Chile Pepper, marker, giant post-it note, photos of food (ristra or salsa, tortillas or tamales, green chiles or cilantro) mentioned in the “pull out” poems

Literary model: 

Green is a Chile Pepper by Roseanne Greenfield Thong, illustrated by John Parra

Lesson Plan: